Home - Soapberry Bugs of the World

Image of the Month - December 2014

Photos by Marco Schmidt

While perusing a website of West African plants we were lucky enough to stumble across this image of a Leptocoris feeding on the seeds of Paullinia pinnata. The genus Paullinia is very diverse in the New World where it is a host for Jadera. It is interesting that in Africa, P. pinnata is the sole representative of the genus and host for another genus of soapberry bugs, Leptocoris.

Paullinia pinnata is a shrubby climber that is usually found in gallery forests in West Africa. It is used in Burkina Faso as a traditional medicine for a large range of diseases. It is a congener of the plant producing guarana, Paullinia cupana, native to Brazil, that's probably better known from energy drinks.

This photo was taken on a joint collecting expedition of Ouagadougou University and Senckenberg Research Institute to the SW of Burkina Faso (nearest large city: Bobo-Dioulasso) in September 2004, which is towards the end of the rainy season.

The image can be found at here.
More information on Paullinia pinnata can be found here